Disney+ Releasing Frozen 2 Months Ahead of Schedule as a Surprise During 'This Challenging Period'
Frozen 2 will begin streaming on Disney+ in the United States starting Sunday, March 15
Frozen 2 is heading to Disney+ sooner than you think!
On Friday, The Walt Disney Company announced that it will be adding the animated film onto its streaming service three months ahead of its scheduled release date as a way to surprise families with “some fun and joy during this challenging period.”
“Frozen 2 has captivated audiences around the world through its powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time, and we are pleased to be able to share this heartwarming story early with our Disney+ subscribers to enjoy at home on any device,” Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer at The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement.
The movie, a sequel to 2013’s Frozen, will be available on Disney+ in the United States starting Sunday, March 15. It will be added onto Disney+ in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday, March 17.
The sequel beat out the former chart-topper — the original Frozen, which generated $1.28 billion worldwide during its run. Coming in third is 2018’s The Incredible 2, also from Disney’s Pixar, with $1.24 billion worldwide.
The news comes just a day after Disney announced its decision to temporarily shut down its theme parks in the United States and France amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of guest and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” a statement regarding its California parks read.
In another statement, the company said that it will also be closing Florida’s Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris starting March 15 through to the end of the month amid the global health crisis.
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This is the only the second time in history that Disneyland has closed completely for reasons other than weather. Previously, Disneyland shut down following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the national day of mourning after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
Walt Disney World in Orlando has only ever shut its doors due to the threat of hurricanes — most recently, Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 — and the day after the 2001 attacks.
Neither park has ever closed due to the outbreak of an illness.
As of March 13, there have been at least 2,110 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 48 deaths in the U.S., according to The New York Times.
Several states have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding, and public schools in Ohio, Maryland, New Mexico, Michigan, Oregon and the District of Columbia have closed in response.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.